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Totally off the rails: Review of The Commuter by Rashid Irani

The tired, predictable plot barely moves — despite the numerous possibilities afforded by the confined spaces and hurtling speeds of the train.

movie reviews Updated: Jan 18, 2018 15:33 IST
Rashid Irani
Rashid Irani
Hindustan Times
We all enjoyed his late-life reinvention as an action here. But this time, Liam Neeson is a letdown.
  • Direction: Jaume Collet-Serra
  • Actors: Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga
  • Rating: 1 / 5

From the amateurishly edited opening sequence to the predictable climax, Liam Neeson’s fourth collaboration with Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra (following Unknown, Non-Stop and Run All Night) is a major letdown.

The actor who reinvented himself as a late-career action hero is put through the paces again. This time, he plays a cop-turned-insurance salesman. While on a train home, the cash-strapped family man (Liam Neeson) is made an offer he can’t refuse. A mysterious woman (the estimable Vera Farmiga, underutilised) wants him to identify a commuter whom she claims ‘doesn’t belong on this train’. The reward, a cool $100,000.

Vera Farmiga is wasted in the role of a mystery woman who offers to pay Neeson’s character $100,000 to identify a commuter whom she claims ‘doesn’t belong on this train’.

The Hitchcockian stranger-on-a-train premise is squandered on lapses in logic and generic close-combat skirmishes. Slow-motion shots and endless tracking through the compartments further impede the flow of a deadly-dull narrative.

Worse, the director fails to make effective use of the confined space or hurtling locomotive. Heed the advice of the protagonist and take a bus instead.

First Published: Jan 18, 2018 15:32 IST